Monday, September 28, 2009

Profound Back Seat Thinking:

From the back seat, Aidan said:

 *Momma Connie’s* Grandma died and went to Heaven. I don’t want to die.
 But when am I gonna die?
 I like all those things too! (things that people do in Heaven.)
 But Jesus made me?
 Did he make the whole world?
 Why did Jesus make sharks? They bite people.
 Why do people get mad at each other?
 I have an idea – I could give people my clothes and toys if they don’t have any.
 Hey – I have a great idea – When I grow up, I can make houses for people who don’t have houses!

This was our discussion in the car on the way to the fair. Obviously my responses were more long-winded, so I didn’t include them.

This conversation came from a couple of places. #1 – Aidan’s great-grandma died a few months ago. #2 – the other day I was on the ferry with Aidan and ended up sitting next to another lady and her young son. The two boys started playing right away and the mom began telling me her life story. It became very apparent in the first couple of sentences that this girl had lived a very hard life, was very vulnerable, and didn’t have any social boundaries. I tried very hard to be a good listener, even though I had no idea how to respond as she gave me a breathless account of her recent breakup with her girlfriend of three years, her lack of employment, her lack of a home, and her desire to “party” tonight if she could just get ahold of a friend to pick her up at the ferry terminal. She was nervous, fidgety, and uninhibited. She mentioned several times that she didn’t know where they would sleep that night and the fact that they only had the clothes on their backs for the weekend, due to everything being in her ex girlfriend’s apartment. I commiserated when she paused, tried to offer little bits of advice. (like “NO – You shouldn’t live with that man who wants to offer you housing in exchange for sex.”)

Anyways, I soon felt like I was going to be asked for a ride, money, a place to stay. These are all things I should probably offer, but not without considering how to do this safely and with my own family in mind. The instability and likely drug use of this gal was a red flag to me and I wasn’t sure I wanted her in my car. So when we exited the ferry, I made sure to get lost in the crowd and head to my car with Aidan before things became awkward. (How cowardly of me, I know!)

Once in the car, I couldn’t stop thinking of her 5 year old boy. I decided to look for them and see if she would let me at least “watch” him for the night. While most mothers would never give their child to a stranger, I had the strong suspicion that this woman would gladly give me her son for the night and might not even resurface for a week or so. This would be fine with me- and I knew my husband would be on board as well. I would give her my cell phone number and first name and consider it a moral compromise (since I wasn’t inviting the mom) that I would care for this little boy, make sure he wasn’t sleeping on the streets, feed him some healthy food, and contact some local services for help and legal info to pass along to the mom and for my own sake.

Aidan and I drove around and around, parked the car again, and checked in every shop. They had simply vanished. We looked for 45 minutes before giving up. I felt awful. I felt like I had failed my opportunity to do something good for that little boy.

As we were searching, Aidan kept asking what we were doing. I finally told him that I was worried about his friend and that I wanted to help him because he didn’t have a house to sleep in at night. I told him that Jesus wants us to help people when they aren’t as lucky as us. I told Aidan that he could say a prayer if he wanted. So this is what he said, “Dear Jesus, We’re looking for my friend. But you know where he is. Please help find him so he doesn’t have to sleep on the road tonight.” (that sound you hear is my heart breaking into pieces.)

That night he was up late and my husband asked him what he was doing. This was the conversation:

Aidan – “I’m thinking.”
Dad – “About what?”
Aidan – “Jesus.”
Dad- “What about Jesus?”
Aidan – “About him helping my friend cause he doesn't have a house to sleep in at night.”

OH MAN. So this is what led up to our car ride conversation. The wheels are turning. And I’m so glad they are turning in this direction!

** For clarity, Aidan usually refers to his birth mom as “Momma Connie” when he is with us and calls me “Momma Chae” when he is with her.


Becky said...

You just made my heart break into a thousand pieces too...but then also gave it hope because of what a sweet soul you are raising:)

Rebecca said...

I so often wish I could just 'pause' life for a second so I could figure out a way to help others more 'in the moment' rather than after the fact.

What a kind heart Aidan has!

foxy said...

Oh man, that breaks my heart! What an angel you've got in that boy, for sure... passed on from one Momma Chae. ;)

kel said...

What a sweet, sweet little man!!